Over three years ago, I set a goal to combine two of my passions, film and kayaking. Living in Chicago, I was fortunate to be a part of a dynamic kayaking community. I sought formal and informal kayaking training (in order to paddle efficiently and
keep myself and others safe while filming) with Nick Cunliff, Scott Fairty, Greg Anderson, Bonnie A. Perry, Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin and Andrea Knepper. My film subjects, Bonnie A. Perry, Andrea Knepper, and Sarah Hartman, graciously accepted my inquiry to follow and film them for my documentary series, Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary.
I will graduate from Duke University’s Documentary Studies Program in 2 weeks. Over the course of 2 years, I have filmed while kayaking, conducted interviews inside and outside, sought film sponsors, and presented films at Duke University and Canoecopia. I look forward to entering film festivals and presenting at other paddling festivals. Andrea Knepper and CAT’s feature length film will be finished by early fall after filming the final footage with CAT in Scotland (verite style). Interviews will also be conducted in order to fill out Sarah Hartman’s film.
As Appalachian American photographer, Roger May said, during one his lectures I attended, the greatest documentary payment is the trust and friendships that are created in the process.